Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been looking at some of the important biblical teachings about the Christ—the theological term for this study is Christology. We first considered the Christ in His eternity and Godhood, before the creation of the world. Next we looked at important facets of His days in human flesh. Today we’ll look at the post-resurrection Christ. There’s much to learn and it may just cause you to want to bow in humble awe, confession, and adoration—Philippians 2:10, 11.
- Ascended to Heaven
Christ’s ascension is an often overlooked part of teaching about Christ; but it is not just a fact, it’s an important fact! Luke describes it in Acts 1:9, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” It was another proof that He’s the Christ; was a cause for sending the Holy Spirit (John 16:7); and it was the basis of the miraculous gifts (Eph. 4:7-13). The ascension also shows 1) t that he earth is not the realm of Christ’s Kingdom (contrary to both Jewish expectations of His day and pre-millennial expectations our day); 2) the exact manner of His return (Acts 1:10,11); and 3) that we have an Advocate in Heaven for us.
- Sitting at the right hand of the Father
And where did He go? Jesus tells us in Mark 14:62, but Stephen confirms it (Acts 7:56) “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” The right hand is the place of favor, and Jesus at the right hand of the Father is proof that 1) He was pleased with the Christ’s successful accomplishment of His mission on earth and 2) Jesus really was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
- Now ruling as King of the Kingdom of Heaven
Contrary to many modern teachings, the Kingdom has indeed come (Mark 9:1 / Col. 1:13 / Rev. 1:6) and Jesus is the King of it, sitting on the throne of David (Acts 2:25-35). Paul stated, (1 Corinthians 15:25) “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” And thus He is truly and authoritatively able to say, Matthew 28:18 “…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
- Our High Priest
But He’s not just our King. Hebrews 3:1 describes Him this way, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession…” And what great blessings come from this! Just consider: 1) He intimately understands our struggles as humans (Heb. 4:15,16), 2) He approaches the true “Mercy Seat” with His own holy blood to procure real forgiveness for us (Heb. 9:12), and 3) He is the only one authorized, necessary, or even capable of mediating (the purpose of a priest) between us and the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). If you’re a Christian, you have a friend in a very, very high place, indeed!
- Returning on the Father’s timetable
While He was still “in the flesh”, Jesus promised that He would return again at the end of time (e.g., John 14:3 / Matt. 24:29,30 / Matt. 16:27 / Matt. 26:64). The apostles taught it (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:23) and the early church believed it (e.g., 1 Thess. 5:2). The timing, however, will be a surprise, belonging solely to the Father: Matthew 24:36 ““But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” And it will be the beginning of great changes.
- Will raise all the dead
For example, at the time of His return, Jesus Christ will also raise all the dead—John 5:28, 29 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” For anyone who gives any thought to it, this will be jaw-dropping display of power—though it will be “nothing” for the Christ who created us all from nothing anyway.
- And He will judge all men
Jesus told us, (Matthew 25:31, 32) “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…” Here is the perfect Judge: the One who is both God and man—He is both omniscient (no deed can be hidden from Him) and He experientially knows what its like to be a man. The One who personally suffered and died to redeem us—and the One we are personally rejecting, when we disbelieve and disobey.
- Then hand the Kingdom over the Father
Paul tells us that after the resurrection, (1 Corinthians 15:24) “then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians 15:28, “When all things are subjected to Him [Christ], then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
- Being the lamp of the New Jerusalem
The apostle John gives us this glimpse into Heaven in Revelation 21:23, 24, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.” Men are not given any further information beyond this “event horizon”—the information being way above our IQ and pay-grade—but the Father and the Christ will be the light, joy, life, and guides forevermore.
Imagine! The eternal God, the Christ, the very Creator, coming to earth to live among men, suffer in every way as a human, redeeming us, and living in the spiritual realm waiting on God the Father’s decision to come bring us home to Heaven! To improve on Pilate’s quote, “Behold the God/man!” The thoughtful believer can hardly speak for awe, amazement, love, wonderment, and even befuddlement! What inexpressible lovingkindness coming to such unworthy creatures! And yet…there are still some who keep a heart of doubt, disobedience, and rejection! Which side do you find yourself on? What will YOU do with Jesus?